Pocket Flask: Assuming you don't like diet soda, there's something unnaturally weird about Vizzy Hard Seltzer

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      As a valuable public service, we crack open spirits from B.C. to Bahrain and beyond, then give you a highly opinionated, pocket flask–sized review.

      Today’s free pour

      Vizzy Hard Seltzer Hint of Black Cherry Lime

      Their words

      “You know that lush, sweet flavour you get from black cherries? Combine it with refreshing natural cherry lime flavour—and enjoy a whole new level of zest citrus heaven. Your senses are in for a treat with this delicious Vizzy Hart Seltzer combination.”

      Tasting notes

      Let’s pause for a second to deal with the obvious: despite the name of this column, there is zero point dumping a can of Vizzy Hard Seltzer into a flask. It already comes in its own version of a flask, namely a pocket-sized can. So why is it being reviewed in a column that’s supposed to be about spirits? Well, it’s made with vodka, which means it belongs more with the whisky, gin, and tequila bottles than beer or wine.

      That out of the way, Vizzy Hard Seltzer will leave you thinking someone’s pulling a fast one. If, that is, you’re one of those folk who can’t make it through two sips of a diet soda without being turned off by the feeling you’re drinking something made with ingredients not found in nature. We know them better as artificial sweeteners, and they make almost everything they’re used in taste like some synthetic, laboratory-created version of the real thing. (This being noted with the acknowledgement that regular soda also comes from a laboratory, not a stream somwhere in the Rocky Mountains.)

      So there needs to be a caveat on this review, namely that I’ve never made it through a can of diet soda for the above reason.

      Vizzy Hard Seltzer smells pleasantly perfumy in a Grower's Cider-like way, and it's light enough on the fruit flavour that you won’t mistake it for something from Pop Shoppe circa-1979. But it tastes like something that’s been artificially sweetened, even though the can proudly announces it's made with “natural flavours”. (In addition to those flavours, the ingredients are carbonated water, vodka, sugars, citric acid, sodium citrate, and acerola cherry juice powder.)

      Unsure if I was imagining things—like, um, aspartame—I had a friend taste Vizzy, who immediately announced “It’s sugarless.” While it’s not, the 100 calories-count might at least put the breaks on your Covid-19 ascent into Stay Puft Marshmallow Man territory.

      The verdict? f you don’t mind diet soda—or something that tastes like diet soda, even though it’s a naturally sweetened hard seltzer, step right up. As for the rest of you, Grower's Cider might be a more pleasing option. 

      Cocktail time

      Um, you read that it comes premixed in a can right? Honestly, can’t you just be happy with someone else doing all the work for once?